If you’ve just become engaged, congratulations! What an exciting time in your life as a young Christian couple.
At this point in time, you may be considering scheduling some Christian premarital counseling sessions.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed the two best online premarital counseling services for Christians. Later, we’ve also explained more about how Christian pre-marriage counseling works, to help you and your partner prepare to get married.
Want to skip right to the suggestions for Christian premarital counseling? Here are our 3 recommended therapy solutions:
Best Christian premarital counseling online platforms
Let’s begin our reviews.
Below, we’ve looked at two of the best Christian premarital counseling services, allowing you connect with a Christian counselor online.
Betterhelp offers individual online counseling, connecting you with professionally licensed and spiritually informed premarital counselors.
The Christian premarital counseling professionals on Betterhelp combine their psychology experience and knowledge with Biblical wisdom, in an online counseling setting. They provide an accessible online couples counseling experience, based on the Christian faith.
Betterhelp provides a very convenient service, adapted to your availability – you can book in video/phone calls at a time that works for you.
Plus, you can communicate with your marriage counselor by text message in between each regular session. You can get in touch in the way that works best for you and your partner, for example, sharing any concerns you’d like to address in the next scheduled session.
Getting matched with the right counselor is easy on Betterhelp. You first fill in a short questionnaire, where you will be able to explain your needs and your religious practices, and how this plays into your relationship. Then, you’ll be suggested a counselor to connect with and schedule an initial call – it’s possible to change to a different qualified counselor at any time in the future.
The pricing of Betterhelp is dependent on the kind of services you want to include in your subscription – there are options with more frequent video calls, for example. It’s billed every four weeks, however, although they offer low-cost faith-based counseling, your health insurance is unlikely to cover this pre-marriage counseling service, since it’s delivered online.
MyCounselor.Online is an online platform that provides Christian-based premarital counseling. They only employ exerienced Christian counselors, who are accredited by their relevant state licensing board.
The best thing about this service is they specialize in marriage counseling. MyCounselor also provides sex therapy, as well as Christian premarital and married couples counseling.
The intake process is a bit less structured than with a service like Betterhelp. You’ll complete an initial call, rather than filling out a form, and their team will match you with one of their professionals, depending on your needs.
To get in touch with your counselor after being matched, they provide video sessions and in-person consultations. MyCounselor has offices in four locations in the United States (Denver, Kansas City, Springfield, and San Antonio), but their software solution is also very good, making it easy to get in touch over a video call if you’d prefer.
MyCounselor also has very transparent pricing, which is great. What you’ll pay depends on the experience of the counselor you’re connected with.
At this point, this service is not a part of any private insurance in-network panels. Some insurance networks might still decide to reimburse you as a client, however, this is up to the coverage of the insurance company.
How does premarital counseling help?
In a typical marriage, you will live together, cook together, and clean together. Your relationship will go through a lot of challenges over time, possibly resulting in arguments and conflicts between you.
However, disagreements in a relationship are perfectly normal, and you can overcome them – especially with the right Christian marriage preparation services.
Premarital counseling helps Christian couples to address any differences or disagreements that you currently have, so that they don’t become a problem in the future. It’s often a lot cheaper and easier to invest in some premarital counseling before any conflicts or differences worsen, rather than having to invest in marriage counseling to save your marriage in the future.
Can you do premarital counseling online?
It’s certainly possible to do premarital counseling online, if you and your wife/husband-to-be would prefer this option.
There are a range of online counseling services that do a great job providing support over the internet. Some focus on Christian couples counseling specifically, such as the ones we looked at above.
Just ensure that you choose a reputable service, that provides Christian couples counseling from licensed mental health professionals.
What does Christian premarital counseling involve?
Premarital Christian counseling is a way to nurture a healthy marriage and make it more resilient. It helps to prevent small insecurities from becoming a problem in the future.
You can get online counseling from a licensed psychologist, a marriage/family therapist, or a professional counselor. Some pastors or religious leaders also provide premarital counseling, however it’s typically best to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
When you choose online marital counseling, you’ll typically have weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly premarital counseling sessions with a licensed marriage counselor.
With some platforms such as Betterhelp, you’ll be able to text message your counseling professional in between sessions, and they’ll respond during business hours. You can also create a group chat with your significant other, allowing them to join in the conversation.
When should I choose online premarital counseling?
There are a few different reasons why you might choose online premarital counseling rather than face-to-face sessions.
If your calendar is full and you don’t feel like getting stuck in traffic traveling to an in-person session, online counseling might be a great option for you. It may be that seeing a counselor online is more convenient, depending on your schedule, or you may not have many good Christian counseling professionals available where you live.
Also, if you feel more comfortable communicating via text messaging, chat, or video calls, then online counseling is a great choice. It’s important that you and your significant other feel comfortable opening up to your counselor during the premarital counseling sessions.
Lastly, planning a wedding can be a very stressful process. Organizing and finding a time with a counselor in-person can add to this stress. Online platforms provide a good solution in this situation, since their therapists are more readily available, and can sometimes be booked outside of business hours.
When should I see a premarital counselor face-to-face?
Getting Christian premarital counseling online is not advised when you or your partner are in a crisis situation.
If you suffer from a complex psychiatric illness or a very serious mental health issue, it’s often a better idea to see a therapist in person, so that they can better provide the support you need.
If you or your partner is suffering from suicidal thoughts or you need direct assistance, you should call 911, or 1-800-273-8255 (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 737-225-3150 to get help if you’re in an abusive or violent relationship.
Common themes and questions discussed during premarital counseling
Premarital therapy can help you align your future and prepare you for big life transitions, providing you with tools for better communication skills and conflict resolution.
Although couples can address specific problems and premarital counseling questions with a therapist, in general, premarital counseling is a way to align on some central relationship themes.
Common issues that can play a big role in divorce and are often addressed in premarital counseling include:
- Ensuring good interpersonal communication
- Goals in life
- Parenting, or plans for children in the future
- Finances or budgeting
That is why premarital counseling often explores your expectations from each other in these areas.
Premarital counseling may also help you to identify growth areas in your relationship, such as improving your skills and developing plans to address the following issues:
- Conflict resolution (dealing with problems such as stonewalling/withdrawal, defensiveness, criticism, and contempt)
- In-laws/family issues
- Commitment to the relationship
- Marital expectations (roles/delegation of responsibilities and jobs in the household)
- Sexual expectations and sexual desire
- Religion/spiritual leadership
- Ensuring you spend enough time fostering your love (not too busy or not enough free time)
Last but not least, a premarital counselor might also ask about your previous relationships, including with your family. This is to identify how you communicate with loved ones, and to see which emotional patterns might need some support.
Your therapist might ask what you learned from a given relationship, or where it went wrong. Essentially, to prevent negative patterns from repeating themselves (coming from your previous relationships) you need help identifying them first. Premarital counseling allows you to do this in a safe space, and foster communication patterns focused on:
- Active listening
As a Christian, premarital counseling might also entail an exploration of your devotion to God and Christ.
Not everyone has the exact same levels of devotion or expectations of how involved God is in their life, so if this is an issue, your counseling professional may explore this area.
For example, they may ask questions about how much will you pray or study the Bible, and how much will you go to church. You will then work with your partner to develop a better understanding of each other’s needs in this area, so that you can ensure a successful Christian foundation for your relationship.
This is the end of our guide to Christian premarital counseling.
We hope you’ve found the right online pre-marriage counseling for you and your partner, to help you ensure a successful marriage.
If you’re still unsure which service to use to help you ensure a happy marriage, leave a comment below and we’ll get right back to you.